PERRY TOWNSHIP — Free face painting, tours of ambulances, fire trucks, police vehicles and free food were all a part of Community Day at the Perry Township Community Building Sunday.
Perry Township Fire Department in collaboration with Perry Township trustees put on the event, in its second year.
The community day was the idea of Justin Roberts, Perry Township fire chief, and Brooke Hedges, deputy fire chief. Fire personnel from the township helped educate the community on their jobs.
“We want the community to know what we do and how we train and do our jobs,” Roberts said. “Fire prevention and safety is important for young kids because they get curious.”
Children were educated on staying away from lighters and matches and taught that firefighters are not scary.
Youth who attended could participate in a fire safety obstacle course where they were challenged to use a fire hose to spray a makeshift home with imitation flames and drag “dummies” that represented bodies. Children even received free junior firefighter hats.
A smoke house also was on hand to teach youth about fire safety.
Perry Township Police Department provided tours of their squad car and had a table set up where information on reporting crimes was available.
Bob Phillips, Perry Township police chief, and law enforcement personnel attended to allow residents to get to know them.
“We want kids to be comfortable with us and not be afraid to get into the squad car,” Phillips said.
A table was set up with information about the Perry Township officials.
The Perry Township Road Department had machinery for attendees to look at and passed out coloring pages.
Free hot dogs, chips, cookies, bottled water and root beer floats were provided.
Gene Davis, former Perry Township fire chief, who served from 1983 to 1986, was honored with a plaque for his service during the event. He retired from the department in 2005 and formally started Perry Fire Department’s Investigation Bureau and was the department’s first fire investigator.
Danielle Clabaugh, Davis’s granddaughter, attended the event with her 2-1/2 -year-old daughter, Harper.
“It is good to introduce young kids to law enforcement and the fire department so they feel comfortable around them,” Clabaugh said.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.